What does this mean? Does this mean that Israel had a different glory that the other nations around her? Does it mean that Israel will be glorified more than others? Does it refer to a future state of glory? My answer to all of those questions is “no”. I say no a lot, I realize. But the context is pointing back to Israel’s history with Yahweh, I don’t see how Paul would move to a future meaning and then back to an historical one.
The word for glory refers mainly to God’s personal presence with his people. I would like for us to survey some of the ways God’s personal presence was with his people in the Old Testament.
- Exodus 19-24 (Read these chapters today as an overview of the Mosaic Covenant)
- Exodus 33:18 “Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
- Exodus 34:29 “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.”
- 1 Kings 8:10-11 “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.”